Increasing number of cancer cases

Cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. This complexity is challenging all aspects of drug development, as well as the health systems they are entering, and how we measure their effectiveness.

References
Global Oncology trends 2017. IQVIA Institute. 2017
1 in 2 people will get cancer. Cancer Research UK. 2015

New science

Cancer has long been defined by where it starts to grow—the lungs, the colon, the breasts. But the recent approval of cancer Immuno-Oncology (IO) treatments for anyone harbouring a specific genetic profile, regardless of the tissue in which it is found, signals a shift in how researchers think about cancer.

Technology and drug development are converging to realise the promise of personalised medicine.


New treatments

Oncology medicines are entering the market at a much faster pace than we have ever seen. Between 2011 and 2016, 68 novel therapies have launched globally for the treatment of cancer.

There are 631 unique molecules in late-phase development.

References
Global Oncology trends 2017. IQVIA Insitute. 2017

Lack of understanding

In a recent survey, 58% of patients and 75% of caregivers agreed more knowledge of genomic testing diagnostic tools would help inform their treatment decisions.

74% of patients and 84% of caregivers expressed interest in learning about IO but only 32% of patients and 51% of caregivers had discussed this option with their oncologist.

For healthcare professionals (HCPs) the rapid rate of change creates a challenge. We need to rethink the continuing medical education and training programmes to ensure they are kept up to date with the latest developments in the rapidly advancing field of genomics. 

For patients and carers, we need to provide relevant and timely information about the new treatments available, and what this will mean for their personal journey. 


References
Many patients lack knowledge about advances in cancer diagnostics treatment. Healio. 2017
NHS doctors ‘not up to speed’ with life-saving genetic science. The Telegraph. December 2017


THere is a need to build expertise and partnerships within the brave new world of cancer care.